It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.She devises a plan to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.
I loved Ruta Sepetys' Between Shades of Gray, as heartbreaking as it was! So, I wanted to see if this book would be just as beautiful! This book is still dark, but definitely not as dark as the author's previous book!
This book takes place in 1950's New Orleans. Josie's mother is a prostitute and doesn't care for Josie at all. Josie just wants to leave New Orleans and go to college, but her lack of money makes that very hard for her. After a man is mysteriously murdered, Josie wants to know who this man was and what exactly happened to him. To make matters worse, Cincinnati, a guy in the mafia, has returned. Josie's mom is, apparently, in love with this man even though he beats her. Josie has to struggle with trying to find the murderer, prevent Cincinnati from causing more damage, along with finding a way to get into a good college.
A misdemeanor of historical fiction is that they are slow-paced. This book was definitely not slow-paced! There is event after event after event and it is very thrilling but also very upsetting, as none of it goes very well for Josie. Still, the whole vibe behind this book, even though all the action, is just how vividly realistic this book is. All the characters and the world are so very real and full of flaws. Honestly, Ruta Sepetys is very talented at created raw and real stories.
As for Josie, she is a very great main character! It's very easy to connect with her. She has had such a hard life and she is such a strong character. I especially loved how much she wanted to stick to her dreams and how she would continue to go after them!
There wasn't really a romance in this book per say, even though there was an odd love triangle. I say there wasn't really a romance because of how realistic it was and how this book is not a romance. The focus of the book is on, really, everything else and the little romance there was just hovered in the background. I, honestly, think this was perfect for the story.
I didn't like this as much as Between Shades of Gray, but this is still a really great read. This book is incredibly real and fast-paced! Ruta Sepetys is a wonderful author and I am definitely reading anything else she writes!